Gesha Is an original variety of Arabica, alternative spelling of Geisha, which was created via marketing. Named originally from the village of Gesha, Ethiopia. It was planted in the 1950s as a rust resistant crop and rediscovered in the early 2000s. Now grown in the highlands of Boquete in Chiriquí Province, Panama, they are highly sought after at auction, achieving high prices. Geshas can also be found in Honduras and Colombia among other origins. These trees grow very tall and have beautiful, elongated leaves. The cherry and beans of this variety are also elongated in comparison to other varieties. Top quality appears to only result from coffee produced at extremely high elevation.
Typica, and Bourbon are both sub-varieties of Arabica. Typica originated from Yemen, taken first to Malabar, India, and later to Indonesia by the Dutch. It later made its way to the West Indies to the French colony at Martinique. Around 1708 the French planted coffee on the island of Bourbon (now called Réunion) in the middle of the Indian Ocean from the plant the Dutch gave them. Unsurprisingly, it mutated slightly from Typica and was planted throughout Brazil in the late 1800’s and eventually spread through Latin America. Bourbon produces 20–30% more fruit than typical Typica varieties. El Salvador is known as the Bourbon Country.
Canephora, Mauritania and Liberica are the original varieties of Robusta, native to tropical Africa, between Uganda and Guinea. The caffeine and antioxidant content is twice that of Coffea Arabica. Canephora has both upright and spreading forms. The Coffea Liberica tree grows up to 20 meters in height, producing larger fruits than those found on Coffea Arabica trees. This coffee was brought to Indonesia to replace the Arabica trees killed by the coffee rust disease at the end of the 19th century. It is still found in parts of Central and East Java today.
Charrieriana is a recently discovered original variety. Coffea Charrieriana, or Charrier Coffee, is the only coffee that is naturally caffeine-free coffee. It is a coffee plant from Cameroon that is newly discovered. Unlike the many popular types of Arabica and Robusta beans we find in commercially produced coffee, Charrier coffee is from a different variety of the coffee plant which is not yet commercially produced. Professor André Charrier, whose focus for 30 years was gathering and researching different varieties of coffee at the French research institute ‘Institut de Recherche pour Le Développement’, discovered it in the year 2008 and it is accordingly named after him. At present, Charrier coffee is the only known caffeine-free coffee plant from Central Africa.